Lakeland, FL-- We start with Juco baseball and you'll hear the coaches of the Panhandle Conference say frequently, theirs is the best league in the State. Certainly the performance of Chipola and Northwest Florida State at the State tourney in Lakeland bearing that out this week. As Wednesday began, Chipola was in a 10 o'clock game against Polk, with the winner of that moving on to face the Raiders in the title game at one. Thanks to Austin Southall, the Indians moving into that championship game. The freshman out of Baton Rouge tossing a complete game, 6 hit shutout, striking out 11 along the way. Boddicker and and Pitts each with two hits and an rbi. The Indians winning it 5-0, and that sent them into the Championship game against conference rival Northwest Florida.
We'll pick this one up with the Raiders nursing a 4-1 lead in the top of the 7th, the Indians rallying big time, Lagarde an rbi single, Boddicker this rbi single, then Revell a sac fly and Escalante an rbi single,
Indians score four times, Chipola up 5-4.
Bottom half of that inning, Mcgree doubles to lead off the inning, gets to third on a ground out, and then scores on the passed ball, game tied at five.
It stays tied until the top of the 11th, two singles and a walk loads up the bases with one out for Caleb Barlow, and he puts Chipola ahead with the sac fly to right, Boddicker scores, it's 6-5.
Now to the bottom of the 11th, Collins a single, Trae Santos moves him to third with a two out single, it's up to Kevin Jackson who strokes one to left against Robby Coles, Jackson thinks it's a game winning 3 run homer, but Sasha LaGarde runs it down on the track, game over, tourney over, the Indians are once again State Champs, so Jeff Johnson and his guys will be making a third trip to Nationals in the last five years!
Chipola Head Coach
"Well Scott I tell you I'm so proud of these kids, we've had a lot of adversity this year. They hung in tight, they hung with me. We started playing better two weeks ago, we kind of put it together down here, unbelievable pitching. We had some guys step up on the mound and get it done. Can't say enough about Derrick Pitts, Austin Southall today, and then Robby Coles come in on two days rest and do what he did today. Some guys showed some big heart. You know we didn't swing it quite as well, but we battled, scored enough runs to win us a championship."
The team heading back now, it should arrive back at the school around 11 tonight. Nationals in Colorado begin May 28th, so time for the Indians to rest.